Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘judgement’

Confidence

When dealing with people, it can be helpful to understand how they see us.

It’s not that we’re trying to change how they see us. We’re not here to change anyone but ourselves, and people’s perceptions are part of who they are … Although we can change what they see. That’s a subject for another day.

Let’s start by considering what people see when they see us.

We tend to be so self-absorbed, thinking every person who ever glances our way is watching us; judging us.

The truth is, for the most part, they’re too busy fearing your judgment to even notice that there’s anything about you for them to judge.

On the whole, people tend to believe that everyone they meet is more confident, more “together”, than they themselves are. While this is typically not the case, it does present a powerful opportunity.

Fake it till you make it.

Since everyone you meet probably assumes that you’re confident and smart and have all your shizz figured out, you may as well act like it’s true. And – who knows? Maybe your brain will believe your actions and, the next thing you know, you really are all confident and figured-out-y. It could happen.

You might even discover that you really do know more than you thought you did … and that your confidence is well-placed.

Besides, what have you got to lose? No one knows any better.

Most people are too busy worrying about you judging them to have any time left to judge you

Advertisements

A Practical Plan for Not Gossiping.

I choose to use my tongue for good. I will use it only to edify and uplift and exhort and inspire. (At least – that’s my hope.)

It is not my place to judge. Nor is it my place to share confidences.

I have always found this value very hard to live. This is how I WANT to live. But when someone says something to me I find it hard to change the subject, hard not to respond to them. I don’t want to be rude.

I suppose that I have always felt (subconsciously) that directly confronting them in their gossip is confrontational – and very bad manners.

Who gossips with you will gossip of you

Who gossips with you will gossip of you

So someone might catch me off-guard and ask me a very direct question about someone else. Before I know it, I’ve answered them. I’m a whole lot better than I was. I have been working on it and I’m learning to deflect and to change the subject subtly.

Or someone might assume I share their view of the world and launch into a vitriolic attack on a group or person they assume we hold in mutual low regard. And then the subject changes before I have a chance to defend that person or group, and I’m left feeling like I’ve bathed in bacon fat. Briefly delicious but totally gross the moment you actually think about it … and very, very hard to clean.

So I’ve been giving a LOT of thought to how I would like to behave in future. I’m basing a whole lot of this on how I hope people would behave if someone tried to engage them in talk about me. (I imagine I’m way too boring for this to be a real concern, but I’m trying to empathise here …)

When someone comes to me in future to gossip, here’s my script:

“If someone asked me that about you, I don’t think you’d like me to answer. I’d like you to know with great certainty that your confidence is safe with me, and if I answer that question about so-and-so, you will never be able to trust me again. Your friendship is very important to me, and I don’t want to risk it on random words.

Besides, I can’t speak for them. I don’t know the circumstances of their life, or the moments, events, and choices that brought them to where they are now. I don’t know if, in their place, I’d have done better. I’ve done some pretty crazy stuff in my life, so I’m fairly sure that – given their challenges – I’d have made a huge mess of things.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a good friend like you to keep them on track when they start going off course. Thank you for understanding.”

When it comes to a particular group being judged, I’ll say something like,

“I don’t know what it’s like to be [shortsighted label]. But I do know what it’s like to be [insert label that applies to me]. I like me, but I’ve taken flack for what I am in the past. It wasn’t fun. I don’t want to be someone who makes someone else feel like that.

It’s not my place to comment on their life choices at all. They are no better or worse than I am. Even life choices that are specifically spelled out as sinful in the Bible are no worse than the specifically sinful choices I have made.

So I don’t want to talk about their situation. I don’t have enough information and I don’t think we can easily do this and still be kind.”

If I need advice on a situation, I will speak broadly, and only to someone I trust implicitly, who has earned the right to hear that story. There are many things that can be discussed besides people. Millions. An infinite amount.

I realise that this view might not be popular. I know some people will think I’m boring. Others may even feel judged because I’m not willing to engage with them in the delicious sin of gossip. So be it. I don’t want to lose friends. But I would rather lose a friend because I DIDN’T gossip and I WASN’T judgemental, than because I gossiped about or judged them.

I would hate that.

(And it’s not as if I haven’t done and said enough things in my life to earn some gossip and judgement. But I hope that people will be compassionate and sympathetic to me. They have a right to hope that about me, too.)

Friends and being the change

Kuzco says, "No judgey!"

Kuzco says, “No judgey!”

I have a pact with my best girlfriends, and it goes something like this: you can unload on me. Any time. Any place. Any subject. (Well, okay, not ANY place. If I’m in a meeting, homeschooling my kids, or reconnecting with my husband, I’m not taking your call … unless it’s urgent. Or involves chocolate coffee. I totally meant coffee).

I digress. (Me? No! Surely not).

Anyhoo, the pact is that you can unload on me about any subject. I will listen. I will invest. I will care and I will do whatever it takes to understand. I will not evaluate. I will not judge.

If at all possible (and only if you ask me to), I will try to help you put the pieces back together of whatever has fallen apart. No guarantees, although so far my track record is pretty good.

And I imagine yours is, too.

And if you sort things out with your fella or decide to stay at the job you just said you hated or turn down the opportunity of a lifetime or jump on a boat to Bali, I’ll be there, supporting you. Believing in you. Truly wanting what’ll make you happy.

Why?

Well, it’s really simple: I need to believe in a world where I can safely unload, be heard and understood (not judged), and then be supported when it’s all better. That world starts with me, I guess, or I have no right to wish for it.

True Love

“And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” – John 4:21

If I say I love God, but I don’t love my family and friends, I am a liar, and God’s love isn’t in me. God is love. A relationship with Him is characterised by perfect love and indescribable peace. It is is not a relationship filled with judgment, hate, persecution and guilt. It is free of fear or retribution.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” – John 4:18

Freedom from fear

The truth is that I am not perfect. While I certainly don’t fear for my soul, I do get fearful here on earth. Will we make the ends meet this month? Will bad guys break into my house? Will the economy collapse? These are fears that have plagued nations and individuals almost as long as there have been nations and individuals. But that waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night, gut-wrenching terror about the future of my soul if there should happen to be a forever? Nope. I’m sorted. I have peace.

What, then, is love?

How does this perfect love play out in one’s life? Being imperfect, I certainly don’t see people the way God does. But I do know that I can model my actions on His, and develop a worldview that mirrors God’s devotion to us. When we’re learning a new skill, who better to learn from than someone who’s mastered it? And when we learn to love, who better to learn from than The Master?

Let’s review, then. How has He shown His love for us?

  1. He made us. That’s pretty big. He gave us life – arguably the greatest gift this side of forever.
  2. He gave us choice. He could have made us all love Him automatically. Instead, He lets us choose our own path through life.
  3. He gave us His Word. Even though we have the option of going any way we like, He gave us the manual, and shows us how to get the most out of what He’s given us.
  4. He gave us Jesus. To make it easier to understand His Word and His will, he sent us His Son. A gentle and humble teacher, overflowing with love for each of us, Jesus lived out the Way, and taught us how to do so, too.
  5. He gave His life. What greater gift could anyone ask for, ever? He gave everything; He took our place.
  6. He conquered death. Not only did He take our place in paying for our sin, He took away death and gave us everlasting life.
  7. He did all that – and we did not deserve a bit of it. Before we were created, He’d saved us (if we want to be saved – He’s even left that choice up to us). We certainly couldn’t have earned a single one of these demonstrations of love before we even existed. He loved us first.

That’s pretty awesome, right? So how should I love, if this is my model?

  • I should love first. I shouldn’t wait for the person to earn it, ask for it, or deserve it.
  • I should love sacrificially. Love doesn’t always cost something. But I should love even if it does cost me something. I should love even if it costs me everything.
  • Loving is giving. Do I have what you need? Here ya go, then. It’s yours. You don’t have to pa me back. I ask for nothing in return.
  • Loving is forgiving. Whether you meant to hurt me or not, whether you want my forgiveness or not, whether you know I exist or not, I forgive you, and won’t hold it against you.
  • Loving is taking action. Saying, “I love you” is not enough. I show my love for you by meeting your physical and emotional needs to the very best of my ability. Whether you need warm clothes, a plate of food, a place to stay, a hug, or any other practical, real demonstration of my love, I need to be willing to do it.
  • Love gives life. Our words and actions have power. Every day we impact lives in ways too numerous to mention. We can use that power for good if we choose to. We can breathe energy and encouragement and joy into the lives of others. Love chooses life.

Perfect Love requires no payment.

I love imperfectly. I want a reward for my sacrifice, and I withhold good from those to whom it is due (Prov. 3:27), even if I have it by me, because I have harboured some root of bitterness in my heart against that person (Heb. 12:15). I may be justified in my pain and disillusionment, but that doesn’t make me right. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m walking in God’s love. If I can harbour a root of bitterness and not forgive, then I’ve lost sight of what really matters in life. I’m focusing on me. And having walked that way, I can testify that it is not the way to happiness.

Imagine.

Imagine a world without conflict or hatred. A world of peace and self-sacrifice, where everyone has what they need and no one goes without. Imagine a world in which no one judges anyone, no one keeps score, no one is selfish. That’s the world I’m living for, and I’m going to start today by loving in deed, not just in words.

How about you?

Tag Cloud